OTAQUEST CONNECT Announces More Guests

OTAQUEST CONNECT Powered by Anime Central has announced that five more members of the Japanese animation industry are joining the guest lineup for their debut streaming event. Multi-talented voice actor/actor/singer Mamoru Miyano; My Hero Academia directors Kenji Nagasaki and Masahiro Mukai; Promare character/mechanical designer and art director Shigeto Koyama; and Studio Trigger Creative Producer Hiromi Wakabayashi round out the collection of anime, manga, game, and music industry members participating in the event.

Mamoru Miyano began his voice acting career in 2001 and is known for major roles such as Light Yagami in 2006’s Death Note and Setsuna F. Seiei in 2007’s Mobile Suit Gundam 00. Throughout the course of his career he has also played the lead role in several high-profile Japanese films, as well as dubbed voices for the Japanese releases of films like Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. As a singer he has performed in stage musicals and released 19 singles and six albums through King Records.

Kenji Nagasaki directed the first three seasons and two feature films for the hit series My Hero Academia before moving onto the role of Chief Director in Season 4. He made his directorial debut with 2011’s No. 6 and other directorial credits include 2013’s Gundam Build Fighters and 2015’s Classroom☆Crisis.

Masahiro Mukai joined the production team of My Hero Academia for Season 3 as a Unit Director and has taken over as Director for Season 4. During his career, he has also worked as a director and storyboard designer on a number of different productions such as 2017’s Blood Blockade Battlefront & Beyond and 2013’s Hyperdimension Neptunia The Animation.

Shigeto Koyama is a designer and art director. His notable works include Heroman, Star Driver, Evangelion, Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt and Big Hero 6. He worked on the character design for the original Trigger-produced theatrical anime Promare, which was released in 2019. He is also a member of the planning and design group GEEKBOAT along with Hiroyuki Imaishi and Hiromi Wakabayashi.

Hiromi Wakabayashi is the Creative Producer as a member of Trigger. His notable works include Gurren Lagann, Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt, Kill la Kill, Space Patrol Luluco, as well as the Momoiro Clover vs. KISS – Yume no Ukiyoimina music video. He was the creative director of the original Trigger-produced theatrical anime Promare, which was released in 2019. He is a member of the planning and design group GEEKBOAT along with Hiroyuki Imaishi and Shigeto Koyama.

OTAQUEST CONNECT will take place online on Saturday, August 15 and Sunday August 16, 2020, giving fans direct access to what is happening in the creative industries in Japan. Fans can participate online by going to www.otaquest.com/connect/ for more details, scheduling, and guest announcements as they happen.

RetroCrush to Add More Titles to Its Service

Digital Media Rights has announced that it has licensed seven new anime titles for its RetroCrush streaming service. The company also announced the release dates for the anime titles that will stream on its RetroCrush streaming service in August 2020.

The titles will launch on consecutive Fridays in August 2020:

  • The Fantastic Adventures of Unico – August 7, 2020
  • Unico in the Island of Magic – August 7, 2020
  • Arcadia of My Youth – August 14, 2020
  • Arcadia of My Youth: Endless Orbit SSX – August 14, 2020
  • Medabots Season 1 – August 21, 2020
  • Swan Lake – August 21, 2020
  • Dear Brother – August 28, 2020

RetroCrush is a free, ad-supported video-on-demand service available in the United States and Canada. The service has apps on iOS, Android, Amazon Fire TV, Roku, Apple TV, and smart TVs, in addition to being available on browsers. The service launched in March 2020.

Source: ANN

Anime and Manga Blog Posts That Caught My Eye This Week (July 31, 2020)

Unfortunately, I really don’t have anything to say for a lead-in for this week’s list, so let’s just move ahead to the main attraction.

Here are the anime and manga blog posts that grabbed my attention this week:

New Premiere Date Announced for the Assault Lily Bouquet Anime

It has been announced that the Assault Lily Bouquet anime will premiere on Japanese television on October 2, 2020, as well as begin streaming exclusively on Amazon Prime Video on October 1, 2020. However, the announcement did not specify if Amazon Prime will be streaming the anime only in Japan or worldwide.

Assault Lily Bouquet delayed its premiere date to October 2020 to prioritize the safety of its cast and staff during the COVID-19 pandemic. The anime was originally scheduled to premiere in July 2020.

The Assault Lily Project is a mixed-media franchise based on 1/12-scale action doll figures conceived by the doll maker Azone International and the creative group acus in 2013.

Source: ANN

The Final Dubbed Episodes of the Toilet-Bound Hanako-kun Anime Are Now Available on Hulu

The Fandom Post is reporting that FUNimation Entertainment has now made the final three English dubbed episodes of the Toilet-Bound Hanako-kun anime available on Hulu. The previous nine dubbed episodes were already available, but the final three dubbed episodes were delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The series was directed by Masaomi Andou, based on the series composition by Yasuhiro Nakanishi. Mayuki Itou was in charge of the character designs while Lerche produced the animation.

Source: The Fandom Post

RetroCrush Is Now Streaming the Itazura na Kiss Anime

The Fandom Post is reporting that RetroCrush is now streaming the Itazura na Kiss anime. The 25 episodes of the series are available with Japanese audio with English subtitles.

Itazura na Kiss originally aired in 2008 in Japan. It was directed by Osamu Yamasaki with character designs by Maki Fujioka. Discotek Media brought the show out on DVD in 2019.

Source: The Fandom Post

Crunchyroll to Remove 77 Sentai Filmworks Titles

Crunchyroll has announced that it will remove 77 anime titles from its service on August 1, 2020. Sentai Filmworks holds the license to all 77 titles.

The titles slated for removal include:

  • Action Heroine Cheer Fruits
  • AKB0048
  • AMNESIA
  • Aoharu x Machinegun
  • ARGEVOLLEN
  • BAKUON!!
  • Battle Girl High School
  • Bodacious Space Pirates
  • Broken Blade
  • Captain Earth
  • Celestial Method
  • ClassicaLoid
  • CROSS ANGE Rondo of Angel and Dragon
  • Cuticle Detective Inaba
  • DEVIL SURVIVOR 2 THE ANIMATION
  • Dog & Scissors
  • Dusk maiden of Amnesia
  • DYNAMIC CHORD
  • Engaged to the Unidentified
  • Fantasista Doll
  • Flip Flappers
  • Frame Arms Girl
  • Girlish Number
  • Girls Beyond the Wasteland
  • GLASSLIP
  • Gourmet Girl Graffiti
  • Gugure! Kokkuri-san
  • Hakuōki
  • Humanity Has Declined
  • Invaders of the Rokujyōma!?
  • KINMOZA! (All Seasons)
  • La storia della Arcana Famiglia
  • Long Riders!
  • Magic of Stella
  • Magical Play
  • Magical Warfare
  • Majikoi – Oh! Samurai Girls
  • Mashiro-Iro Symphony
  • Matoi the Sacred Slayer
  • MEGANEBU!
  • Momo Kyun Sword
  • Momokuri
  • NAKAIMO – My Little Sister Is Among Them!
  • Natsuyuki Rendezvous
  • Nobunaga The Fool
  • Norn9
  • One Week Friends
  • Phi-Brain – Puzzle of God (All Seasons)
  • Photo Kano
  • Queen’s Blade: Rebellion
  • Rail Wars!
  • Re-Kan!
  • RIN-NE (All Seasons)
  • Rozen Maiden
  • Rozen Maiden Zurückspulen
  • Sakura Trick
  • Samurai Bride
  • Samurai Jam -Bakumatsu Rock-
  • SHIROBAKO
  • So, I Can’t Play H!
  • SUPER SONICO THE ANIMATION
  • Stella Women’s Academy, High School Division Class C3
  • Tari Tari
  • The Comic Artist and His Assistants
  • The Dragon Dentist
  • The Kawai Complex Guide to Manors and Hostel Behavior
  • The Severing Crime Edge
  • Tribe Cool Crew
  • tsuritama
  • Un-Go
  • Undefeated Bahamut Chronicle
  • Uta no Prince Sama (All Seasons)
  • Wakaba Girl
  • Wish Upon the Pleiades
  • Wizard Barristers
  • YUYUSHIKI
  • Zettai Bōei Leviatan

Source: ANN

Square Enix Manga & Books Licenses the Otherside Picnic and I Think Our Son Is Gay Manga

Square Enix Manga & Books, Square Enix’s North American publishing division, has announced that it has licensed the Otherside Picnic and I Think Our Son Is Gay manga.

The publisher will release Eita Mizuno’s manga adaptation of Iori Miyazawa’s Urasekai Picnic (Otherside Picnic) novel physically and digitally on May 25, 2021. Mizuno launched the manga in February 2018 in Square Enix’s Shonen Gangan magazine.

Square Enix Manga & Books will release Okura’s Uchi no Musuko wa Tabun Gay (I Think Our Son Is Gay) manga physically and digitally on May 11, 2021. Okura launched the manga on the Gangan pixiv service in August 2019.

Source: ANN

Section23 Films Announces October 2020 Slate

Home video distributor Section23 Films has announced its October 2020 slate of releases.

Product details follow, in order of release

Coming October 2020

Title: BEAUTIFUL BONES
Published by: Sentai Filmworks
Distributed by: Section23 Films
Run Time: 300 min.
Street Date: 10/6/2020
Format: BD
Language: Japanese with English Subtitles
SRP: $49.98

SYNOPSIS: Most young women have lots of obsessions, but Sakurako Kujo only has two: work and bones… and since the bones are part of her work, it really comes down to just bones. However, in between collecting de-fleshed animal and human remains for her studies, Sakurako also assists the local police as a forensic consultant, where she’s developed a formidable reputation as both a corpse magnet and detective. Assisting her in these tasks is young Shotaro Tatewaki, who is no slouch at sleuthing himself, though his primary task is to keep Sakurako focused (and keep her from occasionally “borrowing” a particularly interesting specimen). If there’s a bone to pick, a stray skull to be found, or a random skeleton hidden in a closet, you can trust this team to unearth the evidence in Beautiful Bones: Sakurako’s Investigation.

Title: PUNCH LINE
Published by: Sentai Filmworks
Distributed by: Section23 Films
Run Time: 300 min.
Street Date: 10/13/2020
Format: BD
Language: Japanese with English Subtitles
SRP: $49.98

SYNOPSIS: When your day begins with being held hostage in a hijacking, can things get much worse? How about being kicked out of your own body? Or learning that if you can’t re-possess your physical shell, you’ll trigger a panty-fueled apocalypse that will wipe out all life on the planet? For Yuta Iridatsu, it’s just the start of the worst out-of-body experience ever. Now, if his dissed disembodied spirit doesn’t pursue the persuasions of a porn-obsessed paranormal pussycat and purloin a missing mystical manual, a meteor will collide with Earth. And to stack the odds even further, the book is hidden somewhere in the boarding house Yuta shares with a bevy of beautiful babes, but if he gets an eyeful of his ravishing co-renters in their unmentionables before he’s back in himself, it’s flash-forward to Doomsday. Will the literal end of the world be wearing briefs, a bikini, or a thong? Find out when panties, possessions and extinction level events have the ultimate rear-end collision in Punch Line.

Title: SHIROBAKO COMPLETE COLLECTION
Published by: Sentai Filmworks
Distributed by: Section23 Films
Run Time: 600 min.
Street Date: 10/13/2020
Format: BD
Language: English & Japanese with English Subtitles
SRP: $89.98

SYNOPSIS: Once upon a time, five girls made an animated film and it was so much fun that they pledged to get jobs in animation so that someday they could make another film together. Now, two years later, Aoi, Shizuka, Ema, Misa and Midori have learned the truth about the anime industry: it’s not always fun, it’s anything but easy, and having talent isn’t always enough to open the right doors. Which is why Aoi’s overwhelmed by her job as a production assistant, Shizuka’s waiting on tables between auditions, Midori’s currently scriptless, Misa’s switched to C.G., and Ema’s working long hours as a key animator. Is it what they imagined? No. But are they ready to give up? Not just yet. Sometimes, when things happen in animation, they can happen in the most wonderful ways in Shirobako.

Title: EF ~ STEELBOOK
Published by: Sentai Filmworks
Distributed by: Section23 Films
Run Time: 600 min.
Street Date: 10/20/2020
Format: BD
Language: English & Japanese with English Subtitles
SRP: $99.98

SYNOPSIS: Four disparate groups of friends. Different places. Different times. Different lives. Yet, their destinies are inexplicably interwoven, and what happens to any one group will, in the end, affect them all. One Christmas Eve, Hiro Hirono helps Miyako, the victim of a purse snatching, and discovers that she goes to the same school he does. To the dismay of his childhood friend, Kei, Hiro starts hanging out with Miyako. When Renji Asou meets Chihiro Shindou at an abandoned train station, he doesn’t notice anything unusual at first. But he soon discovers that she suffers from a rare disease. Shuichi Kuze’s been spending time with Mizuki Hayama. As they’ve been getting to know each other, they’ve been growing closer. Yuu Himura meets a girl who seems to know him, but he doesn’t know her. Soon enough, however, he remembers a girl he met long ago, and begins to rediscover old, half-forgotten feelings. Intertwining fates, tragic, bittersweet and heart-rending combine to form one of anime’s most beautifully crafted and emotionally charged masterpieces: ef ~ a tale of memories & melodies.

Title: NEGIMA! + NEGIMA!?
Published by: Sentai Filmworks
Distributed by: Section23 Films
Run Time: 1355 min.
Street Date: 10/20/2020
Format: BD
Language: English & Japanese with English Subtitles
SRP: $129.98

SYNOPSIS: Few fantasy characters have become as popular or been adapted into so many mediums as quickly as boy wizard Negima Springfield, and now both of the world’s foremost 10-year old magical teacher’s animated series are collected in one doubly entertaining collection. In Negima!, Negi is assigned to teach a class at the exclusive Mahora Academy, where all the students have unusual skills and secrets and some aren’t even human. They’re also all teenage girls, which becomes a bit of a problem when some start to develop romantic feelings towards him. Then, in Negima!?, a mysterious artifact known as the Star Crystal disappears and Negi and his all-girl regiment of gifted students find themselves trapped in the middle of the mystery. Get ready for ghosts, vampires, ninjas, time travelers and cheerleaders on the prowl in the Negima! + Negima!? Animated Collections.

Title: AKAME GA KILL STEELBOOK
Published by: Sentai Filmworks
Distributed by: Section23 Films
Run Time: 600 min.
Street Date: 10/27/2020
Format: BD
Language: English & Japanese with English Subtitles
SRP: $99.98

SYNOPSIS: In a land where corruption rules and a ruthless Prime Minister has turned the puppet Emperor’s armies of soldiers, assassins and secret police against the people, only one force dares to stand against them: Night Raid, an elite team of relentless killers, each equipped with an Imperial Arm – legendary weapons with unique and incredible powers created in the distant past. Rescued from a fate worse than death by Night Raid, young Tatsumi is offered the chance to join their lethal ranks… but it’s a deadly choice, as few can master an Imperial Arm and even fewer survive when two Arms go against each other in combat. The battle is on, and only the strongest will make it out alive in Akame Ga Kill!

Title: IS IT WRONG TO TRY TO PICK UP GIRLS IN A DUNGEON? 2 PREMIUM BOX SET
Published by: Sentai Filmworks
Distributed by: Section23 Films
Run Time: 350 min.
Street Date: 10/27/2020
Format: BD & DVD
Language: English & Japanese with English Subtitles
SRP: $179.98

SYNOPSIS: There’s rarely a dull moment when you’re the champion of a tiny Familia, and things only get rougher for Bell when the God Apollo declares war on Hestia and her followers. With Apollo’s Familia able to field a hundred times as many men, Hestia will have to work a lot of favors to keep her Familia from being completely destroyed. Even if Bell and Hestia manage to pull off the impossible, a major debt that Hestia owes is about to come due and Lili’s sordid past comes back to haunt her. Which means that when Bell and his friends come to Lili’s aid, it sets into motion yet another impending clash of the titans that may destroy everything in Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon? II.

Anime Spotlight: Full Metal Panic! The Second Raid

Full Metal Panic! The Second Raid is based on the Full Metal Panic! light novel series written by Shoji Gatoh. The anime was directed by Yasuhiro Takemoto and was produced by Kyoto Animation. The 13 episodes of the series aired on Japanese television from July 13-October 19, 2005. As of this writing, FUNimation Entertainment holds the North American distribution rights for Full Metal Panic! The Second Raid.

The series picks up six months after the events of the original Full Metal Panic! anime. Sousuke Sagara is still attending high school and serving as a bodyguard for Kaname Chidori, but he’s finding himself being pulled out of school more and more to tackle other missions for Mithril, the anti-terrorist private military organization that Sousuke is a part of. This also means that he’s not able to guard Kaname as much as he was previously.

A new organization known as “Amalgam” appears, and a crazy man named Gates is the new enemy. It turns out that the Japanese voice actor for Gates is the same person who was the Japanese voice for Jiraiya in the Naruto franchise, which made hearing Gates a little unnerving to me. I’m so used to that voice associated with Jiraiya, and I had a hard time keeping visuals of Jiraiya out of my head even though Gates was appearing on the screen. But Gates is definitely quite crazy, and is a danger because of his mental state. Two of his underlings are a set of female twins named Xia Yu Lan and Yu Fan Lan, and it turns out their sensei is someone that was originally introduced in the first Full Metal Panic! anime. The series also introduces the audience to Leonard Testarossa, the brother of Mithril’s Teresa “Tessa” Testarossa… although he doesn’t seem to do a whole lot by the end of it.

As this series progresses, we see both Kaname and Sousuke struggling with the relationship that they have. It doesn’t help that another agent named Wraith is supposed to be looking out for Kaname but hasn’t intervened because he didn’t feel her life was truly in danger. When Sousuke is told his mission has changed and that he will not only not be guarding Kaname but is not to have any contact with her, the audience sees a change come over Sousuke. The struggles that both Kaname and Sousuke go through after Sousuke is pulled from his bodyguard mission make up an important part of the drama during the last few episodes of Full Metal Panic! The Second Raid.

The original Full Metal Panic! had its serious moments, but it tended to be a series that was more light-hearted in nature. For Full Metal Panic! The Second Raid, it felt as if the series was leaning more toward a serious and dramatic side, with some light-hearted moments to serve as comic relief. Also, there is more violence and some shots of female nudity in Full Metal Panic! The Second Raid. I don’t know if this was due to the change of studio (Gonzo produced Full Metal Panic!, while Kyoto Animation produced Full Metal Panic! The Second Raid), or if the story in the light novels evolved more in this direction.

Full Metal Panic! The Second Raid is a good follow-up series to Full Metal Panic!, even with the noticeable shift in tone between the two series. My only real complaint is with the final episode, because Kaname’s appearance felt like it came out of nowhere, and that she was a kind of “deus ex machina” to get to the finale. At the end of Episode 12, it felt like there was still a lot of ground to cover in the story, and then Episode 13 rushes through to the story’s conclusion, which is prompted by the arrival of Kaname. Up to that point, though, the story felt like it was naturally paced. But outside of the story being rushed in the final episode, I did overall enjoy Full Metal Panic! The Second Raid. If you’ve seen the first Full Metal Panic! anime but haven’t gotten around to this series yet, I would recommend watching it at least once.